Monday, September 6, 2010

Setting a Homework Routine

Routines Help Kids Succeed

If your school-aged charges haven't started school yet, they will tomorrow.

In the September 2010 Be the Best Nanny Newsletter we discuss how nannies and au pairs act as tutors helping children with homework and school work. We discussed multiple intelligences and how each person has a different learning style. This week we will provide more homework advice.

According to Angela Norton Tyler, author of Tutor Your Child to Reading Success, as with everything you do with children, setting a routine is important when it comes to homework.

The whole point in establishing a solid routine is so that homework gets done with a minimum of stress and fuss. Homework should just be a small part of the day, like brushing one's teeth. Do not constantly talk about, debate, discuss, or fine-tune the homework routine. Set it up, and then expect every family member to follow it.

Nannies and au pairs should do their best to make homework time free from outside distraction. Don't schedule appointments or run errands during those times if you can help it. And, that's the thing: sometimes you can't help it. Stuff happens, plans change, Grandma arrives for an unannounced visit. Oh, well, the homework routine gets thrown out the window for one day!

We want children to become independent and self-motivated learners. In order for this to happen, we must give kids a routine, help them follow it, and then step back so that it becomes their own. Really, we don't have to be the Homework Police forever. If we expect and allow children to be in charge of their own homework, the day will come when they do it all by themselves.

Help your charge to be organized by creating routines. If she always does her homework in the same spot at the same time, it will become a part of how she does things throughout her school career.

Tomorrow: Making Homework Ground Rules

Have you helped the kids develop a homework routine?


Steph 6 said...

We try to follow a homework routine but it's really really really hard with after school activities like sports. After school it's just CRAZY. I like when the kids do homework immediately after snack on the kitchen table. I'm there to help yet can prepare dinner while they do the homework. If they were to go to their bedrooms they get distracted too easily and never get the homework done. I understand eventually they'll have to do it in another room themselves without me close by but the oldest is just starting 4th grade and for now it works at the kitchen table. They eat their snack and don't even get up until after homework is done.

Anonymous said...

Very difficult to get my little guy to do homework. Lots of moaning and groaning. Anyone have any ideas?
Margaret Z.

lovebeingananny said...

Margaret Z,

You are in charge. When you tell the child it's time to do homework he must do it. But at the same time keep it light and fun. I really think positive reinforcement is better than punishment or scolding. So perhaps you can start a star chart. Would that work? If he can do homework in a good mood without complaining he gets a star and after 4 stars you promise to do a fun activity of his choosing like making homemade play dough or cookies, that sort of thing.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Margaret needs to promote & reward non-complaining & non-moaning by child and punish moaning and complaining.
Maria Lopez
Miami FL

Imani O said...

margaret, I think the advice of others is right. It's very frustrating but rewarding for good behavior and punishing for bad behavior is appropriate.

Also make sure the child's basic needs are met.

Did he get enough sleep? Insist the parents put him to bed earlier, be sure to give him a nap.

Has he had a healthy snack? Prepare it ahead of time to make sure it's healthy: protein, fruit, veggie, complex carb (not simple carbs like pretzels and junk).

Talk to teacher for suggestions if all else fails.

Imani O NY